I remember that day very clearly. We were in Yaba Psychiatric hospital on a Psychiatry rotation. The clinic was busy and the doctor was occupied. He asked us to wait a while. People in my group started gisting. I used the opportunity to ask a friend if I could use her blackberry. ‘I want to check my email’ I said.
I opened it, just like I always did. Then I saw it: a response, a very positive one. It was a very long thread of emails. I had sent it to one of those info@ email addresses on their website. They copied and forwarded my email to several people until I got my positive response. I was super duper excited. I had to google where the hospital was. The hospital was in Scotland. They were under the University of Glasgow,the same school that sent me a rejection email because my application was late.
I didn’t know about confessions and how to grow my faith but I kept telling myself I would go for electives and God would sort me out I kept singing ‘I am going for electives’ to my family. They all thought i was joking. To be honest, it sounded like a joke.
I told my mum about the acceptance letter to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. My Uncles (some of them I hadn’t heard from in years) reached out and sent some money. It wasn’t enough but I had learnt that trusting God was the key. I was calmer now. The hospital copied the lady that sent me a rejection letter and asked her to process my application. I was chatting with the admissions officer back and forth even when the deadline had expired. I asked for more time and she gave me.
The bulk of the money was spent on immunisations. At that time, they were asking for a TIER 4 visa. It was 70k(70,000 naira,pardon my Nigerian English). I remember telling my roomie that I wanted God to help me skip that part. I didn’t want to burden family members with a 70k visa application. She laughed and said ‘it’s not possible’ but that further convinced me to keep trusting God for it.
I did not tell anyone about it. My classmates were asking when my visa interview was but I found a way to casually avoid giving a response. No money yet to renew passport…visa interview kwa… but as always God has other plans.
I went home one weekend and I decided to clean out my wardrobe and I saw my old passport. I opened it and found out that my UK visa was valid for 5 years. I had never noticed that before. My parents and siblings (we applied at the same time) had 2 year visas that had already expired. I thought mine had too. Why did they give me a 5 year visa and my siblings 2 years? Turns out God was planning my electives even before I was. I emailed the hospital and asked if it was ok for me to use that visa and they replied in the affirmative. I couldn’t keep still.
The words I had been saying were all coming to pass.
From the flight down, to the people I met,it was favour all the way. My consultant Dr Graeme Tait treated me like his daughter. He invited me to church, he was born again and made sure I had dinner every night. He introduced me to Mama Betty. Mama Betty had such a warm heart and was on fire for the Lord. I learned so much, got to practice clinical skills and made some friends. Some of whom are still my friends today.
We went on a boat cruise to an Island where Scripture Union (SU..yes,the same one) does teen camps. I met Cameroonian Dr Neba Numfor. He was like my big bros. He dropped me off at the train station on my way back and even squeezed £50 into my palms (only an African can do this!).
The accommodation was cheaper than all the rates I had seen. I could open my email when I got to Scotland. Turns out I had about 3 offers but all would have required the Tier 4 visa. God didn’t want me barking up the wrong tree.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose Romans 8.28 NIV
I was reminded (and still am), that God is faithful and his mercies are new every morning. And He honours His word. Nothing moves heaven like Faith.
Why did I share this? Sometimes we go through challenges in our health,marriage,finance,etc. Sometimes everything and everyone is telling you NO. But you need to stay with God and remind yourself that ‘For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God’ 2 Corinthians 1.20 NIV.
Sometimes you may need to shut some voices out of your head. The voice of fear and doubt and repeat God’s word for you. His words are life.
Lots of beautiful things happened on that trip and I am still overwhelmed by it all. These days when the devil thinks he has something on me, I just laugh
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3.22-23
Rest on God’s promises for you!